Thursday, June 14, 2012

Falling Skies, Season 1, Episode 8: What Hides Beneath

Captain Weaver is having a nightmare mixed with his memories, it’s interesting to see a more human side to Weaver as the series develops and he becomes less of an obstacle everyone has to work around.

Time for a meeting with Colonel Porter and Tom, but the nightmare leaves Weaver distracted during the meeting. Apparently the Skitters are regrouping to the large structures being built over the cities. Porter thinks they can’t wait to see what happens or what their next move is and plans to send a co-ordinated attack against the structure in 4 days. The plan is to lead a unit against each leg and blow it up – despite several divisions being dead or missing.

Pope (who isn’t dead), still riding the redemption train, is put forwards as an explosives expert to help them blow up the structure. At least they don’t trust him. Pope gets to go play with Uncle Scott to make explosives (and turn on a Mech gun by mistake)

At the same time Weaver is disturbed by some of the pictures Rick is drawing as part of his art therapy. A picture of a row of houses that Rick gives to Weaver. On his own, Weaver continues to take pills and stares at the picture. Rick is worried about Weaver and whether he’s sleeping. Weaver overhears and objects – and decides he’s going to lead the scouting party as he has experience in construction and will know best where to hit the legs of the structure. Tom doesn’t like it, but Weaver has decided

Outside Hal finds ben exercising – and he’s managed to keep going for nearly 3 hours.  Ann does a medical on him and finds not only are his spikes not going away, but the flesh around each spike is so tough even a scalpel can’t cut it and Ben doesn’t feel anything when she does it. Ben and Ann also discuss how people are afraid of the Harnessed and how Rick is completely non-communicative.

At the structure Weaver can see it’s made through Earth materials and processes. And they see a brand new alien – tall, thin and bipedal that the Skitters bow to. They wonder at the implications of this – and run into some human survivors. Sonya has never left Boston and has lived near the tower months. More debate on whether to ignore her, help her or see what she knows – mission vs compassion is an ongoing theme with Tom and Weaver. Sonya was captured by the aliens but they didn’t want her and discarded her, though most of her fellow prisoners disappeared.

Weaver continues to be distracted by Rick’s pictures and then rides off on his own. They go to Weaver’s old home – and inside Tom finds Weaver with a bottle of booze. Weaver reminisces – he separated from his wife a year before the attack and he’s disturbed by Rick’s picture because it’s a picture of his house. We hear the full story of Weaver’s family and what happened and taking the Harness off his daughter. Weaver’s in a funk and considering quitting entirely, refusing to leave his old home. Just as a Mech arrives. Weaver continues in his funk but is prodded and poked into action by Tom, and they co-operate to kill the Mech. They believe Sonya gave them up – there’s no other way the Mechs could have found them.

At Sonya’s house, they hide while Sonya talks through the door to a Harnessed woman – it’s Karen (hey, remember Karen?) With Karen is also one of the new, humanoid aliens. The aliens use Sonya to gather information and pass it to the aliens. Tom wants to take her with them but she’s hurt and Weaver says her home is all she has – and in 3 days they’ll be attacking anyway so why ruin her like that? His own issues have given him some compassion it seems. And then they return to the base.

Back at the base Tom makes it clear he wants to tell Porter about all the information they gathered but there’s no reason to mention Weaver’s moment. Weaver mentions that finding his wife’s glasses that weren’t there before – meaning she could still be alive.
 During all this, at the base Matt and Pope (who isn’t dead) have a little talk and we analyse the bullets the Mechs use – which are basically human bullets but converted with Mech metal. And Matt suggests using the Mech bullets against the Mechs themselves. Meanwhile Ben is trying to be friendly with Rick – who is still on Team Skitters, which annoys Ben who hates what happened to him and wants them dead. And isn’t pleased with Rick’s idea that the Skitters love them and will come back for them

Pope organises a camp wide demonstration to show that a mech-metal bullet can punch right through mech armour. Weaver puts Pope in charge of churning out Mech-metal bullets. At the back of the crowd, Rick leaves, noticed only by Ben.

And Ann has finally got round to autopsying a Skitter body with Lourdes. Inside the Skitter they find a Harness. Ann thinks that it means the Skitters were something else once – perhaps that the children who were Harnessed were transformed into Skitters. Lourdes can’t see how they can keep it to themselves and they don’t know whether Ben and Rick will transform – but Ann is already worried about the prejudice the 2 boys face and won’t add to it.

I’m all for humanising Weaver and seeing more of his past and how massive this is – even him running off and almost having a breakdown just furthers this show’s habit of showing the true emotional impact of what they’re going through and what they’ve lost. It’s powerful to see that even Weaver is hurting and how profound that grief and pain is.

Pope is just completely unnecessary to this series, he annoys me, adds nothing that another character couldn’t do just as well and something needs to eat him.

I am really unhappy at the difference between Rick and Ben, they’ve both been through the same, both experienced the same – but Ben holds onto his humanity while Rick loses his?